Caring for someone who is elderly, quite often a loved one, is a full-time commitment. You are on call 24 hours a day. The physical and emotional toll it takes on a person is exhausting. Quite often the caregiver keeps going though they are stressed out. Their jobs, family lives and interests are put on hold. Everyone needs a break at some time and caregivers need a break more than most. This is where respite care comes in.
What is respite care?
Respite care allows caregivers to take a break from caregiving for a short while. Usually your loved one will be brought to a community but professional care at home can also be provided. It is also available after a hospital stay or a visit to the emergency room at your hospital. Care can be from a few hours or a day up to several weeks if needed. Caregivers often use this when the health of their loved one deteriorates. It is at this point that they need extra help. This type of care can also be an introduction to moving your loved one to a full-time care facility.
How will you know when you need it?
Respite care can be used if you have a planned vacation or other special event and know you will be unavailable to care for your loved one. Most of the time you know you will need this care when you realize your own health is failing. If you are stressed all the time or unable to meet your own obligations, this is the time for respite care. All caregivers need to take time off to just enjoy themselves and concentrate on their own relationships.